The television age has left little to the imagination and this is more so, for young minds that are in the process of being shaped and molded by everything that they see and hear. Being busy, overworked parents, it does become difficult to take out time for reading. Plus, most toddlers would rather play and explore than be made to sit and look at a book. However, all it takes is a little effort, some time management and a bit of imagination to make reading fun for both your toddler and you.
Here are easy ways in which you can make reading enjoyable for toddlers and choose books for toddlers that will be interesting and educative.
Reading Aloud to Toddlers
By reading aloud, your toddler gets to hear your voice and listen to you which hold his attention for much longer and if you use a gentle, rhythmic tone it would be easier for his little ears to hold on to words and absorb them. You could read aloud not just from his books but from your own books too. The idea is to develop a love for reading and books and this would do the trick just as well.
Use Toddler-appropriate Picture Books
Toddlers are drawn towards bright colors and pictures. So, it would be a good idea to get some sturdy, board books with nice colors and big pictures for your toddler. You could point out the various things as you go along, looking at the pictures.
Be Patient with Your Toddler
Toddlers are fidgety little creatures, constantly wanting to explore the world around them. Chances are when you’re reading together, your toddler might want to climb up or down your lap, run around, fiddle with the pages and turn the book upside down. This is absolutely normal, inquisitive toddler behavior and by being patient with your little reader, you would be encouraging a love for books and giving him the space to explore them at his own pace. Expecting your toddler to sit still for a reading session is quite unrealistic, so be patient and let him develop this love for reading, naturally.
Be a Consistent Reader
In order for reading to be fun, it is important that it be a part of your toddler’s daily ritual. By being consistent and regular in reading together, you would be letting your toddler know that you value and appreciate books and reading. Also, this would be part of his routine and he would come to expect to be read to and look forward to spending time with books.
Make Reading with Your Toddler a Special Activity
To make reading fun and enjoyable, turn it into a special and treasured emotional activity. By snuggling and cuddling together while reading, you would let your toddler know how much you enjoy reading to him and he, too, would really enjoy the special times with mommy or daddy.
Do Read Yourself
Finally, for your toddler to enjoy reading and have fun doing it, he should see you setting the example. It would be difficult for a toddler to appreciate books, if he doesn’t see you doing the same. Therefore, take out time to read and have books around the house. Let your toddler know that you value reading and that you enjoy it as much as you’d expect him to enjoy it.
Reading books is not just important to develop language skills and word power; it is also, a powerful medium of imagination and creativity. It gives a child the ability to visualize and think independently and opens up fascinating worlds and makes life much more interesting and enjoyable, for toddlers and adults alike.